December 6, 2005, Columbus, OH - This week the Ohio General Assembly unveiled the plan to implement the 2 billion dollars in bonds authorized by voters in Ohio Issue One. In this plan the legislature has appropriated zero additional dollars for highways and infrastructure over the next three years. The legislature cannot spend the funds approved by voters until 2009 because surplus funds from the last bond issue passed by voters still exist.
“Once again, Governor Taft pulled a fast one on the people of Ohio,” stated David Zanotti, President of the Ohio Roundtable. “He ran a $2.4 million ad campaign telling everyone Issue One was about building Ohio’s infrastructure and creating jobs. He never told anyone the funds were frozen until 2009. So Issue One won’t create a single new highway or infrastructure job or impact a local community until the end of the next Governor’s first term in Ohio. Do you think voters would have approved Issue One if they were told most of the money could not be spent until nearly 2010?
The real truth about Issue One is now coming to light. It was all about Bob Taft’s scheme to funnel tax dollars to private corporations and research organizations. The Ohio Constitution bans state investments in private companies. Bob Taft has been defying the Constitution since 2003 when he first started sending tax dollars into his Third Frontier program to benefit select private companies. Issue One was all about changing the Constitution so the Governor could direct another $500 million tax dollars to companies and researchers of his choosing.
This is why Bob Taft is pushing so hard to invest Issue One dollars into embryonic stem cell research and cloning. He wants to control the investment of state dollars. The most compelling data available proves that adult stem cell research is far more effective in providing real cures and treatments. In spite of the scientific evidence, the Governor is trying to bully the Legislature into funding embryonic stem research.
The whole Taft debacle over Issue One is a textbook case on why the Constitution bans tax dollars for private investments. Politicians are not investment experts. They are not immune from using tax dollars to reward friends and support pet projects. The people of Ohio got scammed again, by Bob Taft.”
The Ohio Roundtable, founded in 1980, is a division of the American Policy Roundtable, an independent, non-profit public policy organization. The Roundtable has participated in ten successful ballot-issue debates in Ohio since 1990. David Zanotti has served as President of the Roundtable since 1986.
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